A menu of nourishing foodie events for the body and soul have been planned for the second annual Equinox – Autumn celebration of the senses festival in March/April.
The program will span the entire region, along the Great Western Hwy from Springwood to Mt Victoria and the Bells Line of Road through Bilpin and Grose Vale.
Created and managed by Blue Mountains Tourism, the festival will showcase all that is great about the region over four weekends between March 10 and April 2 in a convergence of fine food and craft beverages, music, art and entertainment and, of course, the spectacular natural environment.
Events and feasts will be tied together with the threads of local stories.
The Equinox festival will officially launch with a beautiful free event at the National Parks & Wildlife Service Blackheath Heritage Centre on March 11 that celebrates the beauty of nature and the parks as well as local Indigenous culture.
Blue Mountains Tourism events manager Genevieve Deslandes said the theme for Equinox 2023 was ``harmony, warmth and connection set amidst the breathtaking backdrop of the Blue Mountains region’’.
``The festival will be launched with a beautiful smoking ceremony and indigenous event to remind us that we live, work and play on Darug and Gundungurra land,’’ Ms Deslandes said.
FEAST will be the culinary chapter of the festival, with more than 15 venues to take part.
``Like a box of chocolate, this collection of menus, events and flavours will surprise you with every bite.
``Chefs are already sourcing the best local and regional ingredients to build the most exciting autumn menus.’’
Sumptuous events include a masquerade ball at the Carrington Hotel, cooking with fire in the Boiler House Restaurant at the Hydro Majestic Hotel and a night of world music performance and Flamenco dance at the Palais Royale Grand Ballroom.
Other venues will include Arrana at Springwood; Hotel Etico and the refurbished Victoria & Albert Guesthouse at Mt Victoria; Avalon Restaurant, Hotel Mountain Heritage and 8 Things in Katoomba; Leura Garage, Bygone Beautys, Two Doctors Whiskey Tavern in Leura; and Blaq Restaurant at Blackheath.
Craft beverage venues will also join the festival, including Megalong Creek Estate and Dryridge Estate wineries in the Megalong Valley; Mountain Culture Beer Co in Katoomba and Karu Distillery at Grose Vale with a long lunch of Australian native ingredients.
Participating FEAST venues will launch their menus on March 1.
There will also be bus tours and fresh regional produce markets, outdoor adventures, magic, live music vibes, heritage, stargazing, Indigenous workshops and guided tours.
Lighting displays, dancing, trendy night spots with belly warming drinks, an adult craft beverage trail and a rediscovery tour for mature travellers are all on the program set against and within the breathtaking backdrop of one of the most recognisable landscapes on Earth.
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This event is made possible by $2.6 million from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, co-funded by the Australian Government and NSW Government. With the grant Blue Mountains Tourism, as the leading tourism authority in the region, will administer and manage the Blue Mountains Visitor Economy Revitalisation Project, a two-year destination management program that will reinstate the Blue Mountains as a key tourist destination in NSW and Australia.